Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Google for Job Search

July 14, 2008

According to Doug Berg, people ran more than 100 million job related searches on Google in June. The average month has 124 million searches.

Let’s have fun with math.  If each search took 30 seconds, that means on average, people spend more than one million hours a month job searching with Google. Ouch!  Talk about a tough way to spend your time.  When you do the kinds of searches he describes, like “Nursing Jobs New York,” you unlikely to get a job that’s even close to what you want. Yet 14,800 people ran that exact search. 

Are these people really job hunting? I think so.  33,100 people searched for “Construction jobs California,” but only 390 people searched for “construction jobs America.” If some people were looking for economic statistics, the America searches would be more common.  As it is, you’d think California is also too big to get the right results. But people don’t get that.

What this tells me is that a whole lot of people don’t really know how to use search tools like Google, and don’t really know how to job search.  Or maybe, they’re just so used to really crummy results when they search, that they’re happy with the kind things Google comes up with. 

Either way, a million hours seems like a lot of time to spend being disappointed.

A tip ‘o the hat to Bounty Jobs

July 10, 2008

Bounty Jobs just announced a raise of $12.5 million. Good for them.  They act as a broker between recruiting agencies and employers. I’ve used them, and the thing I liked most was that they helped me keep my recruiters in line, and also shut them off when they weren’t performing.  It’s a lot cleaner than working directly with agencies. 

There is a ton of money flowing into the recruiting space right now. I think the investment community has figured out that you can make a lot of money if you can help connect people with jobs.  Some of the investments seem totally nuts to me, while others are just crazy.  But Bounty Jobs is one investment that I’ll bet is going to pay off.

Zappos to Misergonists: Get Off the Bus!

June 18, 2008

Zappos was in the news for paying people to leave.  The twist is that they aren’t failing. 

Normally, a company that has to downsize offers incentives for employees to leave. The best take the plan, because they don’t want to work for a loser. The company ends up with the people who can’t get hired elsewhere.  AKA: the Dregs. The tailspin accelerates.  No one can figure out why the company is filled with no-ops because anyone with the business sense to see the problem bailed at the first chance.

But Zappos is growing like a weed and they’re paying $1500 for people to take a hike. (Up from $1000 because too few people were going for the cash.)  It works because a good job is worth a lot more than $1500.  If you’re happy, you’ll stay put.  And if you’re unhappy, they want you gone. 

There’s nothing worse than an unhappy coworker hating their job all day, and raining on everyone else’s parade.  So good for Zappos for making the world a better place for unhappy and happy people alike. 

Good News for Good Looking People!

June 16, 2008

The ERE is reporting on the new thing: “Speed Recruiting.” It’s a lot like speed dating, but for hiring people.  (Here’s the link.)   I’m unimpressed.  Do we really need to make recruiting more superficial? 

Speed dating works because there are only two questions: Do I want to snuggle her? and Does she want to snuggle me?  (Sorry about the language, but it’s a family oriented blog.) One of those questions answers itself if you’re single and she’s hot.  The other one gets answered when she checks a box next to your name.   Is that how we should screen employees? 

The problem with speed dating for candidates is that speed dating works because you already know what you’re looking for.  In speed dating, people get eliminated for being the wrong religion, or too fat, or too old, or not rich enough.  In some recruiting environments, the same filters get applied. But that’s not the typical HR strategy. 

When you’re growing a company, who you hire matters.  Snap judgements can be disasterous. A hiring manager with tunnel vision won’t ever be challenged on his assumptions about what it takes to do the job.  With the ever increasing diversity of the workforce, speed recruiting allows someone to churn through great candidates while looking for a needle in a haystack.  It’s a huge waste time and money even before the lawsuit gets filed.

The other problem is that the kind of person who gets picked a lot in speed dating will also do well in speed recruiting.  Shouldn’t recruiters be pushing for better than that? 

If I were hiring, I’d rather sit down with 5 truly well qualified people than the 25 walk-ons who are willing to be treated like cattle. 

If I were job hunting, I’d want to know that the hiring manager actually read my resume before I sat down.  But if I can’t get that, I hope they at least have a swim-suit competition.  Because then when I get the offer, I’ll feel even better about all the sit-ups I do. 

More on Taleo and Vurv

May 8, 2008

Since everyone says the industry is consolidating, I thought I’d take a quick look at the score board.  Since Trovix started selling it’s first applicant tracking solution in 2005, the following companies have gotten bought or shut down: Vurv, Resumix, Brass Ring, Virtual Edge, Deploy, Unicru, Projectix, Hire.com, WetFeet.  And those are just the ones I could think of. Except for WetFeet, all of them were pretty substantial companies.   

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to grow, add features and add customers.  I think one thing that works to our advantage is that we have a search technology that other companies simply don’t have.  But also, we designed our interface based on the feedback of people that had already used first generation ATS platforms. (See list of those above.)  So we got to see what problems were tripping up users of other systems and and avoid building them. 

Boolean Search Tips

April 29, 2008

Today, the ERE Exchange ran an article giving some tips on how to use Boolean search.  To me, it was just a great reminder of how bad Boolean search really is.

For example, if you want to see somone with a bachelor’s degree in science, you type:
           ((bachelor* AND science) OR bs* OR “b.s.”)
Sadly, that won’t find anyone from MIT or other schools that call the degrees “SB.”  And Stanford awards ABs instead of BAs. As clever as the Boolean string is, it doesn’t really get the job done.

Of course, if you’re a recruiter and want to see a resume of someone who went to a top school, has 5 to 8 years work experience, and has enterprise software experience, Boolean can’t do a thing for you. 

Boolean search for job seekers is an even worse idea. Think about looking for a sales manager job.  You might also search for area manager, sales representative, sales associate, business development and a dozen other titles. And you’ll still get back jobs selling cell phones, cars, software and life insurance. 

The good news is that the feedback we’re getting from job seekers and recruiters is that with our search, they don’t need to worry about Boolean any more.